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North Bay Rescue Crews on Alert Following Weekend High Surf Advisory

JENNER (KPIX) -- Forecasters say the weekend weather along the coast will be beautiful.

There lies the problem.

Beach weather naturally draws people to the beach but this weekend the National Weather Service has sounded the alarm about very high surf along the Sonoma County coast. As a consequence, beaches there can be -- and have been -- deadly.

At Goat Rock Beach in Jenner, three people -- a father and two children -- lost their lives last week when they were swept out to sea by big waves.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office rescue helicopter "Henry One" will be patrolling the coast.

Tactical flight officer Chris Haas says, "Don't be surprised if you're in a bad spot, you'll probably hear me or another flight officer on the PA telling you to get back!"

Lifeguards at Goat Rock Beach will be on duty all weekend.

"You'll be standing on dry sand and waves will come up. They can grab you and you'll be in 10 to 15 feet of water within seconds," California Parks lifeguard, Bradley Ewart explained.

In high-surf conditions, waves at Wrights Beach south of Jenner can reach far up onto the shore.

"It's one of the most gorgeous, pure, clean beaches you'll ever see," Ewart said. "At the same time, it's the most dangerous beach you'll ever walk on."

Authorities say: enjoy the scenery but never turn you back to the waves and stay far up the beach.

Flight officer Haas expressed a parting wish for the upcoming weekend.

"We're here to help but let's do our best to have a nice weekend and not have a story about being picked up by a helicopter. Or worse!"


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